Not for Profit

Published: May 16, 2022 | Updated: May 16, 2022

High Sheriff puts faith in Dorset Community Foundation’s expertise to run her new fund

Sybil Fine King, Dorset’s new High Sheriff who has launched a fund with Dorset Community Foundation. Picture: Sam Rose/samrose.uk
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset’s new High Sheriff says she is proud to be working with Dorset Community Foundation on a fund that champions the healing power of nature.

Sibyl Fine King took up her office last month.

She’s the first American to hold the historic role and will be in the post for a year.

Sibyl has already been busy meeting people and attending events as the official representative of the Royal Family and the legal community in the county.

But she said she’s especially excited about the partnership with the community foundation.

The Nature Heals Seed Fund, which is being run by the community foundation, is offering grants to grassroots groups and charities using the benefits of the natural world to benefit communities.

The High Sheriff chose to work with Dorset Community Foundation because of its reputation and expertise.

She said: “I’ve known Dorset Community Foundation for a while and always wanted to work with them.

“I didn’t want to be in charge of everything and wanted to be able to hand something over, which I can do because I trust them.

“They work with grassroots organisations and they know a lot of people so they have got the right reach and personality.

“They are very easy to work with and very open.”

Promoting the healing power of the natural world is one of her goals during her shrieval year.

Sybil Fine King at the dedication service, held at Arts University Bournemouth. Picture: Sam Rose/samrose.uk

Sybil said she is also looking forward to getting out and learning even more about the county she has called home since 1985.

She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and came to the UK while studying for her Master’s degree in health and fitness management.

“As soon as I got to know the area I felt a strong connection with the people and the place,” she said.

After a year of the placement she applied for a newly-created health promotion role working with four GP surgeries that she thought was perfect for her interests and the skills.

After trialling the role with four surgeries she expanded it throughout the county and continued in the role until she had her children.

But she was already becoming involved with many of the county’s arts and nature organisations, not only though her interests in both but also in her role as Director of The Fine Family Foundation.

She chaired the Kube Gallery at Bournemouth and Poole College and was involved with Dorset Wildlife Trust and has supported visitor centres along the Jurassic Coast at Kimmeridge, Durlston, Chesil Beach and Charmouth.

Another achievement was to bring back Park Yoga from Pittsburgh after she had seen it there on a visit.

Sybil Fine King, pictured at Arts University Bournemouth. Picture: Sam Rose/samrose.uk

Being an American in a very British role doesn’t seem to have phased any of the many people she meets.

Sybil said: “In my welcoming speech I talk about being American but when I’m out and about it’s more about being High Sheriff.

“People tell me I might be the first American to be sheriff but I don’t worry about that, it should be about the role and what it represents, not me.

“It’s a privilege and an honour for me.”

Grant Robson, pictured left, Director, Dorset Community Foundation, said: “I think Sibyl is going to be a wonderful High Sheriff and will bring huge enthusiasm and interest to the role.

“I am delighted she has put her trust in us to run her fund.

“It’s very pleasing that she recognises the knowledge and reach we can give to donors and how easy we make it for them to give.”

  • See more about the Nature Heals Seed Fund here.